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CHAPTER 9: CHRISTIAN EUROPE EMERGES, 300–1200 INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES After studying this chapter students should: 1. Understand the political and economic development of Western Europe during the medieval period and be able to undertake a critical analysis of the term “feudalism.” 2. Be able to explain the development and the significance of Roman Catholic dogma, the hierarchical system of the Roman church, and the monastic movement. 3. Be able to compare the medieval Western society, politics, culture, and religion with those of the Byzantine Empire. 4. Understand the respective roles of the Varangians, Vladimir I, and the Byzantine Empire in the rise of the Kievan state. 5. Be able to discuss the possible causes of the European recovery of 1000–1200. 6. Be able to explain the causes of the Crusades and discuss their consequences in Europe and the Middle East CHAPTER OUTLINE I. The Byzantine Empire, 300–1200 A. Church and State 1. While Roman rule and the traditions of Rome died in the west, they were preserved in the Byzantine Empire and in its capital, Constantinople. 2. While the popes in Rome were independent of secular power, the Byzantine emperor appointed the patriarch of Constantinople and intervened in doctrinal disputes. Religious differences and doctrinal disputes permeated the Byzantine Empire; nonetheless, polytheism was quickly eliminated. 3. While the unity of political and religious power prevented the Byzantine Empire from breaking up, the Byzantines did face serious foreign threats. The Goths and Huns on the northern frontier were not difficult to deal with, but on the east the Sasanids harassed the Byzantine Empire for almost three hundred years. 4. Following the Sasanids, the Muslim Arabs took the wealthy provinces of Syria, Egypt, and Tunisia from the Byzantine Empire and converted their people to Islam. These losses permanently reduced the power of the Byzantine Empire. On the religious and political fronts, the Byzantine Empire experienced declining relations with the popes and princes of Western Europe and the formal schism between the Latin and Orthodox Churches in 1054. B. Society and Urban Life 1. The Byzantine Empire experienced a decline of urbanism similar to that seen in the west, but not as severe. One result was the loss of the middle class so that Byzantine society was characterized by a tremendous gap between the wealth of the aristocrats and the poverty of the peasants. 2. In the Byzantine period the family became more rigid; women were confined to their houses and wore veils if they went out. However, Byzantine women ruled alongside their husbands between 1028 and 1056, and women did not take refuge in nunneries. 3.
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